Most of us dream of having brand new homes, but it’s not always the most practical choice.
When you come across a pre-loved house with everything you need and enough potential for everything you want in a home without the hefty price tag, you can think of it as achieving your dream home for a fraction of the price.
However, a second-hand home has a couple of risks you have to be prepared to deal with.
As long as you don’t let yourself fall into some real deal breakers, you can get the best bang for your buck by keeping in mind the following tips for buying your second-hand home:
#1. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is
Some second-hand homes are sold at incredibly discounted prices that you’d be tempted to withdraw your life savings just to lock-in the price and prevent other interested buyers from stealing the deal.
However, a shockingly low price should be your first indication that the house is not getting as much interest as you might think, and more often than not, there’s a very good reason for that.
Inquire extensively as to the reason the previous owners are selling it for such a price. While one of the biggest mistakes new homeowners usually make is not considering their budget, it’s an equally huge blunder to only focus on the price tag.
Sellers and realtors are obliged to disclose any and all major factors affecting the price — but not unless you ask. Otherwise, the presumption would be that you willingly took on the increased risk in exchange for the discount.
#2. Hire a professional for the walk-through
Unless you are a professional flipper who has been inspecting second-hand homes for a living, you might not be able to spot gaps in the house’s structural design and even interior set up without professional help.
Before signing an unconditional promise to sell, make sure you’ve had a professional inspector walk through and around the house for you.
Inspectors can give you sound advice on whether or not to push through with buying the house for the offer price.
Even if he ends up giving you the go-ahead to buy the house, you would still get good advice on which parts of the home need more work.
#3. Double-check the utility subscriptions
Not all power companies in Texas charge the same rate. The previous owners of the house you’re eyeing may not be aware of this, and may thus be subscribed to a provider that charges high rates.
Don’t worry, this is not totally a deal-breaker. All you have to do is get a comparison of rates charged by the different power companies operating in Texas, vis-a-vis the average electric bill in Texas.
This way, you can switch to a power provider that charges better rates before actually moving in.
#4. Check out the neighborhood
Sometimes, you will come across a house that doesn’t seem to have any flaws, which will get you thinking about why the original owners are willing to let it go for such a low price. Well, sometimes you won’t see any irregularities inside because they are all outside– a.k.a. the neighborhood.
Make sure you inquire about the prevailing rates of petty crime in the area, how safe it is to walk outside at night, or if there are any extra precautions you have to take once you move in.
Also, find out if there are any external circumstances that might affect your peaceful stay in the area, such as nearby factories that may emit heavy smoke or produce loud noise that can be heard from the house you want.
If you can live with these circumstances, then you can go ahead and pay for that house. If not, you might want to look elsewhere.
#5. Consider the potential resale value of the house
You also have to be sure if you’re looking to stay in this second-hand home for good, or if you have plans to sell it somewhere down the line.
If you’re thinking of doing the latter, you have to keep in mind that houses already twice owned may not fetch as much market value.
You either have to spend a lot of money modernizing the property to make it at least appear newer than it is, or you just have to make it your forever home.
If, on the other hand, the second-hand house you’re looking to buy has none of the encumbrances and deal breakers mentioned in this article, and you find that it’s really worth the price you’re getting it for, then congratulations — and go ahead.